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Conceptually, this is an interactive shooting gallery much like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, but in Toy Story Midway Mania!, your ride vehicle passes through a totally virtual midway, with booths offering such games as ring tossing and ball throwing. You use a cannon on your ride vehicle to play as you move along from booth to booth. Unlike the laser guns in Buzz Lightyear, however, Toy Story Midway Mania’s pull-string cannons take advantage of CGI technology to toss rings, shoot balls, and even throw eggs and pies. Each game booth is manned by a Toy Story character who is right beside you in 3-D glory cheering you on. In addition to 3-D imagery, you experience various smells, vehicle motion, wind, and water spray. The ride begins with a training round to familiarize you with your cannon and the nature of the games and then continues through a number of “real” games in which you compete against your riding mate. The technology has the ability to self-adjust the level of difficulty so that every rider is challenged, and there are plenty of easy targets for small children to reach. Tip: Let the pull-string retract all the way back into the cannon before pulling it again. If you don’t, the cannon won’t fire.
Also of note, a 6-foot-tall Mr. Potato Head interacts with and talks to guests in real time in the preshow queuing area of Toy Story.
As you might expect, Toy Story Midway Mania! is addictive, and though it’s great fun right off the bat, it takes a couple of rides before you really get the hang of the pull-string cannon and the way the targets are presented. To rack up a high score, you must identify and shoot at high-value targets: High-value targets are small and often moving, while low-value targets are larger and easier to hit. Toward the end of the ride, the top score of the day and the top scores of the month are posted. If you’re a newbie and you’d like to ride several times to gain experience and get your skill level up, consider making the attraction your first stop after the park opens.
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Here's roughly how many minutes you'll wait for Toy Story Midway Mania! at each California Adventure Crowd Level.
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